Copyright © by René Colato Laínez
Now I know. It is not a Kinder Garden; it is kindergarten.
“We do not need flowers because each of you is a flower,” a teacher told me, “And you are the most elegant flower of all.”
My kindergarten had a big playground. I liked to run around a big tree that reached the sky. This morning, I was painting a vase for mother’s day. I painted a big letter R and a green flower. Suddenly, there was black smoke everywhere. Everyone started to cough. I saw many children crying and running. My kindergarten school was on fire. A teacher held my hand while I ran and cried.
Everyone was saved. They took us to a nearby elementary school.
“I had a gift for you. It was a vase but it broke.” I told mamá when she picked me up.
“You are my best gift,” she told me with tears in her eyes.
All the teachers are heroes. They saved our lives.
Today was my first day in the new kindergarten school. It is a small two-story house. There is not enough room to run and jump.
I was excited to climb the stairs to the second floor. I felt like I was flying on my wooden plane. Suddenly, it was windy and I got scared.
“We will crumble to the first floor! Like the buildings that I make with papá’s playing cards!” I told the teacher.
“Don’t worry,” she told me.
When the wind stopped, the teacher gave us paper and crayons to draw a Santa Claus.
“I like Santa!” I said as I jumped.
My teacher is good because she let me take my Santa home. I put it on the front door.
I finished kindergarten. When the teacher gave me my diploma, papá took my picture. The sun was hitting my eyes. That’s why; I closed my eyes in the picture. Papá told me that I am a big boy now. Soon, I will go to first grade.
What I like the best about my graduation was a book the teacher gave me. It is called El gatito marramiau, Marramiau, The Kitten. I don’t know how to read it but I like it. I will ask mamá and papá to read it every night until I know it by heart.
My teacher cried when we left. She was a really good teacher. She gave me a book.
My parents enrolled me in a school called “chile”.
“I don’t want to go there,” I told papá. “Chiles are spicy. I don’t want my mouth to burn.”
Later, I knew that my school was not filled with chiles. Chile is a country in South America, very far from here. The name of my new school is República de Chile, Republic of Chile.
My first grade teacher is very old. She told us that this was her last year, as a teacher and then the principal will “Fusilar” her.
“¡Fusilar! SHOOT HER! The principal will shoot my teacher!” I thought.
At home, I told mamá.
“We need to save the teacher. The principal wants to “fusilar” her.
“Your teacher will ‘jubilar’ not ‘fusilar’.” Mamá told me laughing, “Your teacher will retire.”
I felt much better. “Jubilar” meant that she will not be a teacher anymore. She will be resting in her house.
“Good for her!” I said. “She wouldn’t be able to run very fast if they wanted to shoot her.”
She was a teacher all her life, what a great accomplishment!